By DON O'BRIEN
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
A Quincy man who authorities said was at the center of a methamphetamine-selling conspiracy was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Thursday.
Tadarryl D. Washington, 29, pleaded to Judge Scott Walden for a chance at probation and to get his life back on track. However, Walden stopped just short of sentencing Washington to the maximum time allowed under a plea agreement. When Washington pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawful meth manufacturing on Jan. 23, it carried a sentencing cap of 14 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
James Brown, an inspector with the West Central Illinois Task Force, testified Washington was one of seven people who conspired to buy psuedoephedrine pills during a nearly two-year period from April 2010 through August 2012. Brown said that Washington purchased pills 49 times between April 5, 2010, and Aug. 9, 2012. Washington was blocked 10 times during that time span after reaching purchasing limits set up by the state of Illinois.
Brown said that Washington and others would go to stores at the same time or within close proximity of each other to purchase the pills. Brown said that Washington was the main cook.
Brown and Washington's wife, Kristin, were called to testify by First Assistant State's Attorney Gary Farha during Thursday's hearing. Kristin Washington, 27, has also been charged in the case. She pleaded guilty on March 13 to a charge of unlawful possession of meth precursors.
Kristin Washington said she couldn't recall if Tadarryl Washington ever sold meth in $50 packages. She invoked her Fifth Amendment rights when Farha asked her when her husband started manufacturing meth. She admitted to buying pills but said she never supplied pills to her husband to manufacture meth.
Farha argued that Tadarryl Washington deserved to go to prison for his crime. Farha said Washington had been sentenced to probation twice previously and failed to successfully complete probation each time.
"He was not an individual who was cooking meth for himself," Farha said. "He has sold meth, but it wasn't for a ton of money."
Farha said that Washington had sold at least 25 grams of meth. He asked that Walden sentence Washington to the 14-year maximum allowed by the plea agreement.
Washington's lawyer, Public Defender Todd Nelson, asked that Walden place Washington on probation so that he could enter a rehabilitation program.
"Mr. Washington has a serious addiction to meth," Nelson said.
Washington threw himself on the mercy of the court.
"At first, I did deny cooking (meth), but I played a big part," he said. "I'm addicted to meth."
Washington said he was doing well after he was released from prison in 2010. He said that he got his GED while he was in prison and started to take classes at Vatterott College in Quincy. He eventually moved to Hannibal and got a job. Washington said he stayed away from drugs until coming back to Quincy for a party weekend.
"I started smoking meth and from there I went downhill," he said.
He was charged with domestic battery on Jan. 23, 2012, after hitting his wife in the face during a dispute on Nov. 9, 2011. He pleaded guilty in that case on Aug. 16. Less than three weeks later, Washington was one of three people arrested when the West Central Illnois Task Force served a search warrant at a residence in the 600 block of North Sixth.
Washington was found in an upstairs bedroom at the residence and was in the middle of producing meth through the shake-and-bake "one pot" method. Numerous items associated with the meth manufacturing process were found in the bedroom.
Walden told Washington that because of his previous criminal history, which included four previous felony convictions, that he wasn't a good candidate for probation.
"You did, to a certain extent, control the drug," Walden said.
Washington was given credit for 227 days already served in the county jail. He had been lodged there since his arrest in lieu of a $150,000 bond.